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[72] superficial, and based upon the erroneous accounts which at first appeared and were generally accepted as true, because the latter and better information was not gathered, but actually lost sight of in the succession of disasters of greater magnitude during the next fortnight.

Gordon carried into the enemy's lines not over 8,000 troops. Those ordered from Longstreet did not arrive, the cavalry remained in its position near the old gas works, and a portion of Gordon's men remained in his lines to await the time when, their fronts being uncovered, they could move to the attack. The troops engaged lost over 1,000 in killed and wounded—more than one-ninth their numbers. They were more than ‘decimated,’ a term often used before our late war to describe fearful losses. True, nearly 2,000 unwounded men surrendered in the trenches, when retaken in the final countercharge, made about three hours after the Confederates took Fort Steadman. The space actually captured from the enemy at this point did not give sufficient room for the deployment of all the troops who entered the enemy's works, to avail themselves of the expected success of three assaulting columns. While waiting the result of the attacks on Fort Haskell and Fort McGilvry, and after these were repulsed, as well as during the several assaults made by the enemy to retake the captured lines held by the Confederates, the greater portion of Gordon's men were confined in a restricted space, and to escape the pitiless enfilading fire of cannon, mortars and small arms which swept, not only the flanks, but both sides of the captured works, had often to seek cover in the rear of these works, or the side nearest the enemy, because the original front or side nearest the Confederate lines was literally torn up by the enemy's shot and shell. During the greater part of the three hours elapsing between the capture and recapture of Steadman, these troops had been under this heavy fire, from which they could not find shelter and to which they could not effectively reply, and were all the while obedient to orders

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